[Nottingham] Apple Macs (and WiFi interference)

James Moore jmthelostpacket at googlemail.com
Fri Nov 16 17:09:31 UTC 2012

On 14/11/2012 20:50, Martin wrote:
> Oh no... Jason having a Bad Day...
> First the Skype non-security fubar hits the press and makes a mess of
> the fans...
> Skype IDs hijackable by ANY FOOL who knows your email address
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/14/skype_disables_password_reset_bug/

And people wonder why I throw hissy fits when it comes to transfer of 
sensitive documents over the 'net... since Microsoft took over Skype, it 
has become noticeably less secure.

> And now:
> On 14/11/12 20:15, Jason Irwin wrote:
>> This is a rant, I warn you.  And some of it is even true.
>> The worst install mechanism:
>> 	Will it go into "Applications" or won't it?
>> 	Will it vomit garbage all the place and mean opening 1 billion Finder
>> windows?
> [---]
>>   How very not bloody helpful.
> [---]

Such has been my experience with OSX since Tiger. Maybe it's just me.

>> And people buy apple for the "just works design"*?  My arse.

I bought a Mac (well, two actually: a Lombard G3 and a G4 Powerbook) 
because they were cheap. Fifty nicker a pop. Bargain!
The Lombard puked battery acid all over the electronics after two years 
(oops!) and the Powerbook fried itself after someone left it on a 
pillow. With the lid down. Some genius thought it'd be a clever idea to 
cut back vents that only worked with the lid *up*.

>> Second worst networking tools.
>> 	Which DNS will it use now?
>> 	No one knows!  Least of all you!
>> One of the worst websites it has ever been my misfortune to use.
>> 	No, I will not list the download you are after; but I will list the
> [---]
>> provide a working RDP client!
> [---]
> That all?!
> I still prefer ssh, occasionally with a -X or -Y, and usually with a -C
> as appropriate. Just like a good old faithful teddy bear, you know where
> your bits are with ssh! ;-)
> (Even Apple machines have ssh... ;-) )
> And that there leads onto a very irksome point of deliberate system
> obfuscation in the name of supposedly keeping things hidden and simple
> to dumb down the users yet further and yet Market expensive simplicity
> despite an ever increasing bloat of feature riches.
> Contradictions there somewhere?...
> Rants aside, we do seem to be be descending into ever greater system
> complexity and fragility which is getting ever further removed from the
> KISS nuclear-bomb robustness of the early DARPAnet...
> Is this where the RaspberryPis overwhelm all users to save the Internet
> and computing as it should be?! ;-)

I've yet to even see one of these gadgets, let alone get my stickies on 
one. Are they actually any good for anything beyond SDTV/HTPC/Jukebox apps?

>> Now...why the hell is my WiFi so laggy...
>> *This one was bought for the insane discount.
> That's just conflict with your neighbour's WiFi and interference from:
> EU standardises hamtagonistic powerline network tech
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/14/plt_standard/
> "The second vote on EN50561-1, the EU standard for running Ethernet over
> mains circuits, has passed..."
> "... long opposed the standard, arguing that existing requirements that
> no device generate undue radio interference should be applied to PLT
> devices, which would make the vast majority of those in use today
> illegal. ..."
> Well... Those darn things are wide-spectrum broadcast transmitters after
> all! Possibly even powerful enough to locally obliterate broadcast radio
> and ADSL! The comments to that article are rather apt... I guess the PLT
> manufacturers care little for interfering with other users, especially
> so when denuding the profits of other suppliers...

I can certainly vouch for this. Someone in my neighbourhood uses PLE and 
I can tell you now, nobody for several blocks around has adequate 
grounding. The interference is enough to weaken my satellite reception 
by over 85%.

> On an unrelated note, I've had a surreal argument about the earthing for
> a building and screened cat6a network cables... Unfortunately, not
> helped by some of them snaking around at 90m or so :-(

Adequate grounding (ie within current code) for any building should be 
adequate* for efficient and noninterfering use of powerline ethernet and 
ethernet-over-catx-over-any-practical-distance. If there is dropout on 
the data stream or interference with anything else, it's a grounding 
issue that needs to be looked at.

*By "adequate", this consists, at a minimum, of a solid copper rod of 
minimum cross section of 2.5mm^2 buried in the ground to a minimum core 
depth of 1m (BS7671). Check the document itself for guidelines on this 
simple fix, protective multiple earths, bleed earths (lightning 
conductors and antenna groundplanes) and metal grid earthing.

> It must be the moon and the antipodean eclipse!
> Cheers,
> Martin

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